Alex Albon sets clear timeline for Williams to become podium contenders

Alex Albon scored 27 of Williams' 28 points in 2023 but has been linked with replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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Alex Albon expects Williams to be podium contenders in 2026 or 2027, but said they have to focus on slowly climbing up the constructors’ championship order.

Williams finished seventh in 2023 with Albon scoring 27 out of the team’s 28 points, but they only just held off a late charge from AlphaTauri in the last five races and were almost a century behind sixth-place Alpine.

However, they did show signs of progression under new team principal James Vowles after a very underwhelming start to the 2022 regulations as they finished dead last and well behind ninth place in their first season.

“Podiums and wins I think realistically, we won’t be there this year. If it can be regularly in points that will be great,” Albon told selected media including Total-Motorsport.com at Williams‘ 2024 launch.

“It’s going to take time, I think that kind of 2026, 2027 – that’s the period of time where I think we’re going to be able to consistently fight for podiums and obviously, that’s quite far away.

“So I just have to be happy with the journey that we’re on and the progress that we’re making. That’s pretty clear in my view of where I see the team and where I want the team to be. And of course, I’ll be assisting in pushing for that as long as I can.”

Albon: Gap to Alpine is still significant

Max Verstappen leads McLaren’s Lando Norris, Mercedes’ George Russell, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and the Williams of Alex Albon at the 2023 Dutch GP | | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Albon has expressed his desire to rise up the grid as he feels he’s entering the prime of his career aged 27, and has been heavily linked to Mercedes after the departure of Lewis Hamilton.

Williams helped Albon resurrect his career after he spent a year out of F1 when he was axed by Red Bull in 2020, but he’s previously said he feels that debt has been repaid by two outstanding seasons leading the team alongside Nicholas Latifi and Logan Sargeant.

But with team principal James Vowles revealing Albon is contracted to Williams for 2025, he was fully focussed on looking up the grid with the team for the coming season.

“I would say when you look at where we finished last year with P7, we were kind of best the rest let’s say in that lower midfield section and we just about held off our AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo,” Albon added.

“When you actually look at the gap to P6 and P5 there’s still quite a big jump. When you see how Alpine did and then you’ve got another substantial gap to the Astons, McLarens and basically the top field by that point.

“I want to be fighting in that kind of Alpine and nipping on the heels of that top group. I think that’s a realistic performance expectation for us as a team and let’s see how it unfolds.

“I’m really interested to see how we fare on tracks that we weren’t good at. So Monza, US, Canada, Silverstone – high-speed tracks, we know we were going to be good at them and we I don’t see how this year will be any different.

“But with that change of approach with our car, we need to be consistent to be that kind of top-six, top-five team, and I’m very interested to see how we fare in the tracks where we struggled – Monaco, Barcelona, these kind of places.”

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